#RFF Manchester have just completed a two-week employability and skills development project alongside Hideaway Youth Project and Intu Trafford Centre…
The first week of our free accredited training programme saw 5 young people from Salford and 5 young people from Moss Side/Hulme come together with the first few days consisting of team building and confidence boosting activities.
To set the tone of the project, the young people created a working agreement based around respect for each other. Some of the underlying themes of the course were then brought to light, such as getting everyone to appreciate how differing points of view are formed through different lived experiences. Further to this the participants were shown the Karl Rhonke model of Challenge by Choice, explaining how everyone has their own boundaries of comfort, stretch and panic zones. We all learn most effectively in our stretch zones, however this zone is completely different for each individual during different exercises and tasks. This model of learning asks the young people to try and constantly push their stretch zone. This provided a solid foundation for the project, and gave the young people a new perspective to think as they embarked on the two-week project.
The first two days were geared around gaining the self-confidence to be able to talk about yourself in a public speaking context, a massively important skill to have, albeit a hugely difficult one! This goal was successfully achieved by every member of the group. This was worked up to, by each member finding out about on another and then relaying this newly learnt information back to the group. When it came to talking about themselves, the participants first attempt was done whilst with a mouth full of marshmallows!!! Ideas surrounding leadership in the workplace was a theme that arose in this part of project. The young people suggested attributes such as honesty, courage and perseverance make a good leader; these were attributes that were later agreed that all participants harbored in some way, and by finding example of times they displayed these qualities, gave good material for when talking about themselves.
The second half of the week was spent with tutor Shinead from Be more plus and Active Communities Network, who delivered our accredited Level 1 Employability course. Learning the art of job applications, interview technique, teamwork, customer service training and respecting diversity in the work place were just some of the topics covered to help the young people get one step closer to being work ready. All the young people threw themselves into the course, completing all units, including mock interviews. Thank you to Shinead for all your hard work, enthusiasm and knowledge!
The next week was based in Intu Trafford Centre, the second largest shopping centre in the UK that attracts 31 million shoppers per year. To get to see how such a large-scale operation works from behind the scenes was an amazing opportunity, and to have a work placement with Intu is a great addition to any CV! It was a massively varied week for the young people, from going to the top of Barton Tower to meeting an individual who took part in the RFF Employability Programme last year, who as a result is now taking part in an apprenticeship scheme offered by Intu Trafford Centre, to summerise there wasn’t a dull moment!
The group were given Intu customer service training and everyone had a go assisting the customer services teams, finding out what it’s like to be the face of a brand such as Intu, and support their customers to have a more enjoyable trip.
The final two days were spent shadowing some of the different departments at Intu Trafford Centre; these included environmental services, stores and community development and commercialisation. In seeing what constitutes the different departments at Intu Trafford the young people began to understand how varied jobs can be in a single workplace. From this our young people started to gage ideas about what kind of roles and working environments suited them as a person.
The programme finished off with an introduction to first aid, ran by the Skills Shop at Trafford College. The participants learnt a variety of different skills; from how to safely put someone in the recovery position, how to perform CPR, as well as being able to spot different medical emergencies, and the correct way to react.
Everyone successfully completed the 2 week programme and we celebrated with bowling and food courtesy of Intu Trafford Centre!
We had a brilliant two weeks, and are very proud of all the young people that took part! A huge and sincere thank you to our partners at the Hideaway Youth Project, Active Communities Network, Be More Plus and Intu Trafford Centre! And, finally to our wonderful funders at the Big Lottery!